Meeting and Events Incentive Cash Rebate

The Meeting and Events Cash Rebate provides a 10% cash rebate against eligible hard costs for hosting meetings and events in Colorado that take place on or after July 1, 2021 and on or before December 31, 2022. The minimum rebate is $3,500 and the maximum rebate is $100,000.

The program’s goal is to increase tourism industry recovery by incentivizing meeting and event planners to:

  • book new meetings and events in Colorado rather than in one of our competitor states
  • retain meetings and events where there is a demonstrated likelihood that an event or meeting may be canceled, postponed, or relocated outside of Colorado without support

Incentive dollars only apply to NEW business contracted on or after April 6, 2021, when the Meeting and Events Incentive was introduced, and does not apply to existing business or recurring events unless the meeting or event is in danger of cancellation, postponement, or relocation without program support and can provide sufficient documentation to that effect.

The Colorado Tourism Office is partnering with Metropolitan State University to execute this program.

  Applications for this program are open. This grant has a separate application and requirements from the Meeting and Events Incentive Direct Support Grant. Please review both program pages to understand the differences between them.

Overview

Type: Cash rebate

For: Event planners and hosts

Amount: $3,500 to $100,000 per event or meeting

Application open date: July 1, 2021

OEDIT division: Colorado Tourism Office

To receive the rebate, you must be the primary organizer, event host, or event or meeting planner. The event needs to:

  • take place in Colorado between July 1, 2021, and December 31, 2022
  • generate at least 25 paid overnight room nights in a motel, hotel, vacation rental, or other lodging establishments – if vacation rentals are used towards the 25 paid overnight room nights minimum, the rental counts as “one paid room night” per night regardless of the number of bedrooms in the vacation rental
  • have total eligible hard costs at or above $35,000
  • be a new booking contracted on or after April  6, 2021, or in danger of cancellation, postponement, or relocation outside of Colorado without support – existing business or recurring events do not qualify unless there is supporting documentation stating intent to cancel, postpone or relocate
    • Examples of documentation that demonstrate an event is likely to be cancelled, postponed, or relocated include but are not limited to:
      • Board Minutes delineating the financial infeasibility and suggested adjustments to reduce financial load of the event
      • Proposals from venues outside Colorado
      • Letter on official letterhead, signed by C-Suite executive, outlining financial adjustments made to the event and the resulting need for support from the program, such as:
        • reduced guest/attendee list
        • reduction in hotel nights
        • food and beverage adjustments
        • truncating event
        • reduction in sponsorship fees
        • increased event costs
        • elimination of superfluous items

 Examples of eligible events include, but are not limited to:

  • business meetings
  • conferences
  • conventions
  • exhibitions
  • trade shows
  • consumer shows
  • festivals (multi-day festivals count as a single event)
  • weddings
  • concert series (these events count as a single event)

Total eligible hard costs of an event or meeting need to be at least $35,000. Once $1 million in total eligible hard costs is met, any additional eligible hard costs are not covered.

If a hard cost is not listed below, it is not eligible for reimbursement with this program. Eligible hard costs include:

  • audiovisual support limited to:
    • microphones
    • screens/projectors
    • internet access
    • other specialized AV equipment
    • service labor fees
  • entertainment as part of an otherwise planned event limited to:
    • speakers
    • DJs
    • performing acts that serve as entertainment as part of an otherwise planned event
  • event space or venue rental including:
    • room rental
    • event staging (build, setup, trussing, lighting, pipe and draping, power and sound)
    • security
    • traffic control
  • event rentals limited to:
    • tables, seating, decor, and tents 
    • dinnerware, flatware, glassware, and linens
  • food and beverage limited to:
    • meals
    • non-alcoholic beverages
    • service labor fees
  • registration and event management costs limited to event management technology software that handles online event registration, virtual, hybrid, and onsite solutions, and attendee engagement
  • transportation costs limited to:
    • shuttle service provided to move overnight guests to and from the event or venue space on a master account  – individual guest receipts are not eligible 
    • airport shuttle service pickup and drop-off on a master account provided to transfer overnight guests from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the airport at the conclusion of the event – individual guest receipts not eligible

This program will not reimburse for certain activities, including but not limited to:

  • alcoholic beverages
  • hotel room costs and resort fees
  • event planner and management fees or costs
  • print and web design work including but not limited to logo, event website, invitations, marketing material, event collateral such as signage
  • ancillary functions not occurring at the event or venue space 
  • gratuity

Application process

The application must be submitted at least 45 days before the event has occurred except for events occurring between July 1, 2021, to September 15, 2021. Events on or before September 15, 2021, can submit applications no later than 21 days after the meeting or event has occurred to be eligible. For example, if the event or meeting takes place on July 2, 2021, you have until on or before the end of day July 23, 2021, to submit an application.

The application process is:

  1. Determine eligibility.
  2. Log in to your account on the application portal or create an account. To protect your personal information, we manually add new users to the portal, so it may take several days to activate your account. Instructions for navigating the application portal are available.
  3. Gather all application materials
  4. Apply on the application portal. Prepare your application materials by reviewing the Meeting and Events Application (DOCX) which includes all application questions and the Meeting and Events Application Process (PDF)
  5. Receive pre-approval for your application (not guaranteed) via email stating the amount of the rebate you have been approved for. Applicants will be notified of a decision within 30 days of application submission with the following exception: Applications submitted between July 1, 2021, and September 15, 2021, will be notified of a decision within 45 days of application submission. 
  6. Host your event.
  7. Submit a finalized hotel room night pick-up report or room night written verification from the lodging property or properties listing the total room pick-up for verification of the 25 paid overnight room nights.
  8. Rebate funds will be issued within 45 days of submission of a complete and approved Final Report and verification of the 25 paid overnight room nights. 

Application materials

For the application, you will need to provide:

  • a detailed budget for the entire event to demonstrate the economic impact
  • an eligible hard costs budget outlining the eligible hard costs for the meeting – customize the Eligible Hard Costs Worksheet (XLS)
  • documents to support the eligible hard costs for the meeting as well as the number of anticipated paid overnight room nights, such as:
    • event venue proposal or a final contract 
    • host hotel(s) proposal or a final contract (if different than above)
    • proposals or final contracts for all and other line items listed in the eligible hard cost worksheet
  • a request for proposal (RFP) for the event or meeting requesting the incentive – if you do not have an RFP, upload event details, schedule, needs and/or budget
  • a permit – if you are hosting an outdoor event or festival on public property, include a copy of the special event permit or letter of support from the host community
  • an event affidavit

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. We worked with industry stakeholders including the Colorado Association of Destination Marketing Organizations (CADMO) and Tourism Industry Association of Colorado (TIAC) to ensure equitable distribution of funds across the state. We are allocating funds by 2019 county lodging sales revenue. The list of counties and their allocation percentages can be found below.

County

Percentage of incentive funding allocation

Adams 2.9%
Arapahoe 5.02%
Boulder 3.54%
Denver 23.77%
Eagle 8.36%
El Paso 8.33%
Grand 2.13%
Gunnison 1.14%
Jefferson 3.51%
Larimer 4.52%
Mesa 1.29%
Pitkin 5.88%
San Miguel 1.89%
Summit 11.43%
Alamosa, Archuleta, Baca, Bent, Broomfield, Chaffee, Cheyenne, Clear, Conejos, Costilla, Crowley, Custer, Delta, Delores, Douglas, Elbert, Fremont, Garfield, Gilpin, Grand, Hinsdale, Huerfano, Jackson, Kiowa, Kit Carson, La Plata, Lake, Las Animas, Lincoln, Logan, Mineral, Moffat, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan, Otero, Ouray, Park, Phillips, Prowers, Pueblo, Rio Grande, Rio Blanco, Routt, Saguache, San Juan, Sedgwick, Teller, Washington, Weld, Yuma 16.29%


If incentive funds have been expended from your county, you will be waitlisted. To ensure all funds are expended by the end of the program, December 31, 2022, starting on January 1, 2022, the remaining incentive fund allocations will be awarded on the order of the waitlist and then on a first-come, first-served basis regardless of geographic location.

No rebate shall exceed the amount submitted in application and stated in the pre-approval notification regardless of final spend. The incentive will be paid only after the event has occurred and all required documentation has been submitted and verified. The incentive will be paid directly to the primary organizer of the event or to the event planner. An event is eligible for a rebate only once per year.

Before receiving the rebate, you will need to submit a finalized hotel room night pick-up report or room night written verification from the lodging property or properties listing the total room pick-up for verification of the 25 paid overnight room nights. If you do not provide verification, your incentive will be forfeited.

You will also need to submit a final expense report, to include finalized actuals, invoices, expense receipts, and proof of payment and a signed event certificate/attestation within 90 days of the end date of the pre-approved meeting or event.

We are partnering with Metropolitan State University, and they will pay the incentive within 45 days of receipt of a complete and approved final expense report to the primary organizer, event host, or event or meeting planner.

Room night written verification

If attendees stay at more than one lodging property, the property or properties needs to agree to report the room nights booked for the qualified meeting. Upon completion of the specified meeting, the lodging property must provide the total room pick-up report associated with the specified meeting. If a pickup report is unavailable, we will request other documentation. This documentation will need to:

  • originate from the property on business letterhead
  • be signed by the property general manager or another officer with the authority to make such a statement on the business's behalf
  • provide the titles and functions of the officer signing the report
  • include the statement, “I attest that (Meeting and Event Title) resulted in (identify the number of paid room nights) paid room nights at (include property name) between (include day, month, and year).”
  • include officer signature and date

This program cannot be combined with any other offers provided by the Colorado Tourism Office. The Colorado Tourism Office may modify or amend the guidelines to respond to changes in the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, modifications to public health orders and other responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, or changes in other circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Individuals or companies on the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) suspended or disbarred list are ineligible to receive incentive funds.

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